One Year After Andijan: Uzbekistan Shuts Down the News

At the Frontline Club

Wednesday 10 May 2006 ‘ 7.30pm

Discussion: ‘One Year After Andijan: Uzbekistan Shuts Down the News’ Admission FREE

With Sharifjon Akhmedov, former BBC stringer and a live witness of the Andijan events; Steve Crawshaw, London Director, Human Rights Watch; and Andrew Stroehlein, Director of Media, International Crisis Group.

Moderated by the Guardian’s Jonathan Steele.

On 13 May, 2005, Uzbek government forces shot dead hundreds of unarmed protesters at a demonstration in eastern Andijan.The United Nations and other intergovernmental organisations documented the massacre, but the authorities continue to refuse an independent investigation into the events, and persecute those who seek such an enquiry. An all-out crackdown on civil society has targeted human rights defenders and journalists, and created an information vacuum inside and outside the country.

The government has either shut or forced the closure of the BBC, Radio Free Europe/Liberty, Deutsche Welle, and many international organisations ‘ the United Nations is the latest to come under attack. Numerous Uzbek journalists and human rights defenders have fled the country. A new media law puts Uzbek citizens who work for foreign news organisations without official accreditation at risk of imprisonment.

Freelance journalist Shahida Yakub travelled to Andijan a month after the massacre. She’ll show her video footage, which includes testimony from Andijan refugees and from Qabul Parpiev, the only surviving leader of the group that triggered the May 2005 protest.